Monday, February 29, 2016

Fifty-Two // Cody Cameron

Yo what's good party people?! I have successfully made it through 8 weeks of my Fifty-Two project. Which is about 2 months. Or if you wanna break it down further, about 1/6 of the way done. Blaow!

I'm feeling pretty good with how this project is coming about. I've faced some challenges along the short road already, but I've adjusted and made it work. Last week, I was really set on shooting an old friend of mine, but the timing just didn't work out for us like we had hoped it would. Saturday afternoon, I asked another good friend if he'd step in and fill the opening. Of course Cody was more than happy to help me out-- that's just the kind of guy he is. Katie and Cody had been planning on taking Koya to a new dog park because the weather was so great, so I tagged along with camera in hand to grab some shots of Cody. I mostly shot candids of him and Koya, with a handful of posed shots, but I wasn't too happy with what I had got. I did get some stuff I liked, but I didn't want any of those to be what I presented for week 8. Plus, in my head I had already settled on an idea/look for this week. So after we got home and the sun went down, I asked Cody if he'd be willing to help me out again and get back out there to shoot some more. 

We got back outside with a very specific look/idea in mind. Most of the time I've shot low light portraits, I've always brought in lighting to illuminate the subject(s) 'properly' but lately I've been wanting to experiment with available light in these low lit situations. So we strolled around Seward and kept near a few businesses that had well lit storefronts. We used those lights to create the lighting patterns I had in mind. In the past few weeks, this is the third shoot of this nature, and I'm already looking forward to exploring this style much much more. Check em out:

Thanks for looking. I'm hoping my un-shot friend-o from week 8 will be available for week 9. If he is, you'll probably see some more in this similar style. If he isn't well,  I'll need to figure out who/when/where I'm shooting. Again, if you or anyone you know is willing to help me out with my project, please get in touch. See ya next week.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fifty-Two // Katie Smith

Hello hello from Minneapolis, Minnesota! I've been here a little over a week now and even though everyone says it's 'warming up' out here, I think it's pretty effin cold (it's currently 30 outside)-- my body hasn't quite acclimated just yet. Maybe once I get a little more used to the weather, I'll feel a little more social and adventurous-- I know, I know, I'm a weenie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

This week, I've spent a good amount of time at the Cameron/Smith/Politz house hanging out, enjoying some delicious food, taking silly quizzes, sleeping, talking about bleached b*holes, y'know just having a grand ole time over here. For the record, the bleached b*holes conversation was TLOP related, we don't randomly just talk about bleached b*holes. Enough b*hole talk and back to business. Because I've spent so much time over here, I figured I'd continue #fiftytwo with Katie.

I've known for a while that I would like to take some photos of Katie making ceramics, and because I hadn't shot for this week, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to make it happen. The day started off very gloomy and overcast (which I love for photographing people), but in the late afternoon the clouds cleared out and the quality of light was quite nice. We stepped outside for about 15 minutes to get some portraits before we headed down to the basement for pottery. 

Once we got to the basement, I got to watch Katie's creative process. As a curious human being, I'm always interested in people's routines/processes. And as an artist, I'm definitely very interested in how other creatives work and how they go about their craft. I had many questions for Katie ranging from the technical aspects to questions about how she became interested in pottery. I should've recorded our conversation so I could have transcribed it and included it with this post, but I guess I'll have to do that next time-- actually, that just gave me a really great idea for a photo project. Okay, I gotta go brainstorm for that now. Enjoy the photos of Katie (and Koya). 


I had to include this shot of Koya-- she was curious about what 
I was doing over in the corner, so she came over to investigate.

Thanks for looking. If you're interested in seeing/buying some of Katie's ceramics, head over to her instagram (@ksmithceramics) and give her a follow-- I know she currently is working on stocking up her inventory so be sure to check in often. I don't know who/when I'm shooting for this week, but I'll figure it out. Remember: if you or someone you know would be willing to be a subject in the future, holler at me: or on instagram: @zapataphoto

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fifty-Two // Hannah Wagner

Last week was another one of those weeks where I thought I had a subject lined up well in advance, but again, life happened and it didn't quite work out. It was Friday afternoon and I still had not taken pictures of anyone and I was really thinking I was going to miss a week. Normally I would have made sure I wasn't going to miss, but I was busy packing and finishing up some chores before I made my way out to Minneapolis, so shooting wasn't my first priority. 

Just as I was hitting a wall in my packing/cleaning process, I received a text from my good friend Hannah. She was finishing up with class and wanted to know if I wanted to hang out for a bit. The timing was perfect, I needed to get out of the house, I needed to shoot, and I hadn't seen Hannah in a few weeks or so. So it worked out perfectly. She came by my house to pick me up, I hopped in her car camera around my neck, and I broke the news to her. "Hey, so I'm going to take some photographs of you, just so you know." Hannah's always been interested and supportive of my photography, so I knew it probably wouldn't be a problem, and of course she was a good sport about it. Side note: Hannah recently took a trip to Russia that she was telling me all about while we hung out and shot. So you'll notice the various lighting throughout the photos-- we started shooting with beautiful, optimal lighting, and ended up shooting until sundown. Hannah had a lot to say about Russia and there were several instances where I would listen intently instead of shooting before realizing that I needed to shoot quick because the sun was retreating. Take a look:

I got some bonus pics for y'all now!
Once we wrapped up shooting, we made our way over to Burger Parlor to grab a basket of Sriracha Fries. I didn't have really high expectations, to be honest (unpopular opinion: I don't really like Sriracha as much as everyone does-- I think it's okay, just not as great as everyone makes it out to be. I'm more of a Tapatio guy. That's the hot sauce in my bag. Swag), but let me be the first to tell you these fries were absolutely delicious. We talked about Russia some more over the plate of fries, then went over to see Hannah's sister, Summer at her job.


Thanks for looking and sorry I'm late. I was busy all day yesterday getting all the President's Day discounts at Goodwill and Salvation Army-- I came up on some good flannels. I gotta figure out who/when I'm shooting for this week out here in Minneapolis. I have a few people in mind, but I haven't reached out just yet. If you or someone you know would be willing to be a subject in the future, holler at me: or on instagram: @zapataphoto
I'm gonna leave you with one last bonus pic of Hannah hamming it up.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fifty-Two // Gabby Kudron

Last week, I made a surprise visit to Fullerton High School to go say hello to my old photo teacher, Mrs. Kudron, and ask her if she would be willing to help me out with my Fifty-Two project. She has been following along with it, but I don't think she was ever expecting to be a subject. She responded to my request with a big, bright smile, and a half laugh, "MEEE?!" I'm not sure if she gets photographed often by former students (or if she gets photographed often at all), so she seemed a little surprised. The only challenge I faced while photographing her was getting her to wipe that smile off her face-- after every two or three shots, she would burst into laughter. I took additional photos of her where she isn't smiling but I decided to only include the smiling shots because they illustrate Mrs. Kudron the most accurately. 

I began taking photography in grade 11. I think I had a couple of open elective credits to fill, so I opted for Beginning Black & White Photography and Yearbook. Mrs. Kudron was my teacher for both. At that time, my only experience with photography was with point and shoot 35mm cameras and taking pictures of my and my friends when we would go skate. I remember the first time we stepped into the dark room. I remember it was kinda cold, it smelled funny, and it was crowded. I was intrigued, but something about it felt a little 'ehh' to me. She demonstrated how to use the enlarger and I thought to myself, 'Is this going to be too challenging for me?' 'Is this going to be something that I enjoy?' And then she took the photo paper and put it in the developer tray. As I could see the image appearing on the paper as she rocked the tray back and forth I was in complete awe. I felt like a little kid who saw magic for the first time. I went out and bought a used camera the very next week. It wasn't required for the course, but I didn't like the idea of checking out a school camera based on availability. I wanted my own camera so I could shoot anything, anywhere, anytime. I became the unofficial photo editor of the yearbook class (we didn't assign titles to anyone in the class, we were all contributors. If I remember correctly, and I'm sure I do, Kudron didn't like the idea of a hierarchy system, she wanted us all to be equal and do our fair share of captioning, photographing, layout design, etc). I would ask the other students if there were photos they needed because I wanted to go out and get the shots for them. 

My senior year I took Advanced Black & White Photography, Yearbook, and had a special Independent Study slot on my schedule that allowed me to take another photography class that didn't actually exist. Kudron had met with my counselor and principal to put in a special request-- she noticed how enthusiastic I was about photography and used that to our advantage. A couple months into my senior year, I went out and bought another camera. I was committed to this hobby I had, and Kudron was committed to seeing my do my best. She really got me started off on the right foot.

I've got so much more I want to say about high school photo/Mrs. Kudron, but I don't want to end up rambling on and on so instead, enjoy the photos: 

Look at that jabroni. She's had that photo on her cabinet since 
it was taken in 2002. The sticker was added in 2010 or 2011.

This is a bonus picture that I couldn't exclude because it is
a perfect picture of Kudron. Although she was my 'teacher'
this is how I viewed her. As a fun, goofy, woman who just so
happened to be my teacher. 

Thanks for looking. I still gotta figure out what I got going on for this week before I take off to Minneapolis on Saturday. I did take some photos yesterday of a friend, I just haven't decided if I'll use them for this or not because the intention of those photos was for her portfolio, not my project. We'll see though because without even going through them yet, I know we got some good stuff.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fifty-Two // Dyani & Lorna Rosales

So last week while I was at home working on some stuff, Lorna and Dyani showed up and were just hanging out like any other regular day. Except on this day the light looked really nice-- well lately there's been pretty light just about everyday. But on this day, there were a couple people willing to take advantage of this nice light with me. It originally wasn't intended to be my fifty-two shoot, it was just going to be just some rando photos for no real reason. After I reviewed the photos I knew these ones would be the ones I would use for this week-- needless to say, I was really happy with them. We took about 15 minutes to shoot. It was during the golden hour so we didn't have a whole lot of time to shoot, but we didn't really need it. I got what I wanted pretty quickly so I didn't feel the need to keep going and keep shooting-- that's not really how I go about my process. I only got a couple shots of Dyani alone, but I really like them. And I really felt like taking photos of the Rosales girls together, so I did. Enjoy:

Dyani and Lorna just learned what dabbing is, so naturally they've been dabbing
quite a bit lately-- "Hey get a picture of us dabbing."

 And here's a solo shot of Lorna.

Thanks for looking-- sorry I'm late posting. It's been a busy weekend. I've got a good idea in mind for my next fifty-two subject, now I'm just crossing my fingers that it will work out as I would like it to.